Time for another version of my Medieval 2 Total War minimod. It doesn't contain that many changes over 0.07.
The biggest change is fixing the "everyone hates you" bug I wrote about a few days ago. That doesn't mean everyone will love you now - but now you have the option of acting chivalrous, getting good reputation, and if you do your alliances will be more likely to survive, your enemies will be more likely to sign peace with you instead of insisting on silly wars until you destroy them and so on. The game still makes everyone hate you if you're too strong, or if you're playing on very hard difficulty, so don't worry about it being too easy.
Rubber swords bugThe second bug fixed is the extremely well known "rubber swords" bug. In Medieval 2 Total War units have between 1 and 3 weapons, usually 2. It's absolutely necessary for missile units, which need some sort of missile weapon, and also some secondary melee weapon in case they have to fight man to man. But many units have two melee weapons - most knights have a lance for charging and sword for close combat.
Like many things this all makes sense in theory. The problem is with pikemen. They have long pikes for fight in formation, and swords for close combat. Unfortunately their logic for weapon choice is pretty much the same as with knights and their lances - instead of trying to use pikes as long as they can, they switch to swords almost immediately after first charge. And with very weak swords, no shields, and weak armor pikemen make for really horrible infantry.
If it was just a matter of them being weak, it wouldn't be that big of a deal - there's plenty of weak units in game. The real problem is that they switch to rubber swords too early, and you don't see any pike action at all! Removing their "rubber swords" completely makes them much stronger, and behave properly.
Now there's a valid counterargument, that is raised on Total War forums every time the rubber sword bug is mentioned - the game was balanced with rubber sword behaviour, Pikemen are extremely cheap, and so shouldn't be expected to be much good.
It has some validity - Pike Militia costs only 150 florins, half as much as Town Militia at 290, so making them into some sort of super-unit would unbalance the game. Recruitment costs are only meaningful in battle mode (that is mostly multiplayer). In campaign mode, cost of an unit is cost of its recruitment, upkeep over multiple turns, and of buildings necessary to recruit the unit.
Compare scenarios of building required buildings (other than basic things like walls and barracks up to city watch and you need anyway), recruiting 10 (for vanilla, or 15 for mod as buildings are 50% more expensive) units from it, keeping them for 5 turns in garrison, and 5 turns in field. Costs per unit would be:
- Town Militia: 290 recruitment + 0 garrisoned + 625 in field + 0 only basic buildings = 915
- Genoese Crossbow Militia: 570 recruitment + 0 garrisoned + 500 in field + 0 only basic buildings = 1070
- Peasants: 110 + 450 garrisoned + 450 in field + 60 mustering hall = 1070
- Italian Spear Militia: 460 recruitment + 0 garrisoned + 625 in field + 0 only basic buildings = 1085
- Peasant Archers: 220 recruitment + 500 garrisoned + 500 in field + 120 bowyer = 1340
- Peasant Crossbowmen: 220 recruitment + 500 garrisoned + 500 in field + 360 practice range = 1580
- Pike Militia: 150 recruitment + 0 garrisoned + 625 in field + 960 militia barracks = 1735
- Mailed Knights: 680 recruitment + 1250 garrisoned + 1250 in field + 0 only basic buildings = 3180
- Lancers: 930 recruitment + 1600 garrisoned + 1600 in field + 2760 all stables = 6890
So anyway, I did some experimenting with pikemen. I've heard about two solutions on Total War forums - either remove their secondary weapons, or make their formations tighter. I made two AIs fight each other - 3 Pike Militia versus 3 Italian Speak Militia. Results were:
- Normal Pike Militia - lost, 86% dead vs 37% dead
- Tight formation - lost, 83% dead vs 58% dead
- No secondary weapons - won, 66% dead vs 80% dead
- Tight formation + no secondary weapons - lost, 88% dead vs 88% dead
- Me normal Pike Militia, AI Italian Speak Militia - I won, 65% dead vs 89% dead
- Me Pike Militia without secondary weapons, AI Italian Spear Militia - I won, 37% dead vs 85% dead
- Me Italian Spear Militia, AI Normal Pike Militia - I won, 1% dead vs 20% dead
- Me Italian Spear Militia, AI Pike Militia without secondary weapons - I won, 4% dead vs 13% dead
So properly used, Italian Spear Militia is far stronger than Pike Militia - properly used means flanking, and not blindly charging onto the pike wall. Nothing too complicated. Claims of Pikemen being overpowered without secondary weapons seem greatly overstated.
Scaling down previous changes
I decided to scale down a few changes. Cavalry no longer costs 50% extra - nerfing them was fun, but now that most infantry gets free upkeep in castles, and pikemen actually work, cavalry is decently nerfed anyway.
I reduced extra ammo for missile infantry from +100% to +50%. It doesn't really make that much difference, and I'd rather stay closer to vanilla values unless I have a good reason not to.
Full list of changesHere's the full list for reference
- Fixed standing bug
- Fixed rubber swords bug
- Castle garrisons free for basic infantry
- City garrisons twice as big
- King's purse x2
- Rebel spawn rates 10x lower (supposedly, I have my doubts if it works)
- Missile infantry ammo +50%
- Bodyguard unit sizes halved
- Building construction times all 1 turn
- Mining income x2
- Building costs other than mines +50%, mines x3
- When defending a settlement, towers are activated from much greater distance
- Wall and gate strength x5, but tower strength unchanged
- Tower fire rate x2, but only for non-flaming ammo
- Spy costs x2
- Campaign movement speed +75%